Avoid TV HEADS! by Two Peds in a Pod

We love our friends at Two Peds in a Pod! They always offer such valuable content to parents and kids fitness professionals! Below is a great article they wrote on how to limit screen time in your home! ENJOY!

We know that winter break often finds kids spending more time in front of screens: watching TV, playing video games, or surfing the internet. Today we repost our suggestions to help limit screen time in your home.
Drs. Kardos and Lai

“Mom, can we do screen?”

My kids ask me this question when they are bored. Never mind the basement full of toys and games, the outdoor sports equipment, or the numerous books on our shelves. They’d watch any screen whether television, hand-held video game, or computer for hours if I let them. But I notice that on days I give in, my children bicker more and engage in less creative play than on days that I don’t allow some screen time.

Babies who watch television develop language slower than their screen-free counterparts (despite what the makers of “educational videos” claim) and children who log in more screen time are prone to obesity, insomnia, and behavior difficulties. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no more than two hours of television watching a day for kids over the age of two years, and NO television for those younger than two.

Over the years, parents have given me tips on how they limit screen time in their homes. Here are some ideas for cutting back:

  • Have children who play a musical instrument earn screen time by practicing music. Have children who play a sport earn screen time by practicing their sport.
  • Turn off the screen during the week. Limit screen to weekends or one day per week.
  • Set a predetermined time limit on screen time, such as 30 minutes or one hour per day. If your child chooses, she can skip a day to accumulate and “save” for a longer movie or longer video game.
  • Take the TV, personal computer, and video games out of your children’s bedrooms. Be a good role model by taking them out of your own bedroom as well.
  • Turn off the TV during meals.
  • Turn off the TV as background noise. Turn on music instead.
  • Have books available to read in relaxing places in the house (near couches, beds, etc.). When kids flop on the couch they will pick up a book to relax instead of reaching for the remote control.
  • Give kids a weekly “TV/screen allowance” with parameters such as no screen before homework is done, no screen right before bed, etc. Let the kids decide how to “spend” their allowance.

Not that I am averse to “family movie night,” and I understand the value of plunking an ill child in front of a video in order to take his mind off his ailment. In fact, Dr. Lai lives in a house with three iPod Touches, two iPhones, a Nintendo DS and three computers. But I do find it frightening to watch my otherwise very animated children lose all facial expression as they tune in to a television show.

For more information about how screen time affects children, see the American Academy of Pediatrics web site (www.aap.org) and put in “television” in the search box.

Learn more from our friends at Two Peds in a Pod at www.twopedsinapod.com

Julie Kardos, MD and Naline Lai, MD
© 2010 Two Peds in a Pod®

8 Ideas To Eat Healthy On A Budget

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t listen to people that say you can’t afford healthy food.  Here are some tips to eat healthy without breaking the bank.

1. Eat at home

Plan meals for the entire week and then shop with a list and try to stick to it.  Eating out, whether it’s at a restaurant or picking up fast-food, is much more expensive than eating at home. But, if you don’t have the food at home it is much easier to just go out to eat. So, plan those meals!

2. Buy food in season

Fruits and vegetables are much less expensive when they are in season and growers have extra food that they need to sell quickly.  Also, they usually taste better then, too!   Whether it’s strawberries in the Spring or sweet potatoes in the Fall, it will help you mix up what you eat and keep your taste buds and your wallet happy.

3. Buy on sale

Look at the advertisements from the grocery stores and pick out the healthy items that are on sale.  Again, it takes planning but will save a few extra dollars each week.

4. Buy in bulk

This works especially well for family packs of chicken, fish and meat.  You can freeze what you don’t use or double the recipe and have leftovers. That can save a lot of time during the week because you’ve already done most of the work.

5. Plant your own

Growing your own fruits and vegetables can be fun and cheap!  A little effort pays off financially and nutritionally.  You can even just start with a potted tomato plant in the Spring and see where that takes you.

6. Go meatless  (or at least less)

Consider using other sources of protein such as beans as your source of protein for a meal. Even reducing the amount of meat or chicken you use can really reduce the price of a meal.  For example, you can find healthy chicken vegetable soup recipes that require much smaller portions of chicken per person than other chicken meals.

7. Tips for eating out

Just because many of the recommendations above involve eating at home, sometimes it is just fun to eat out!  Here are a few tips when you eat out:

- Try to find 2 for 1 coupons that many restaurants offer

- Take advantage of early bird specials

- Choose water instead of ordering a soda and save a few dollars

- Split a meal.  Many meals have large portions and sharing a salad and main course with a friend is usually plenty of food for both of you!

8. Plan

They key to achieving all of the above goals is to Plan, Plan, Plan!!  It does take a little effort to eat healthy on a budget but it absolutely can be done.  Go for it!

In Good Health,

Dr. Pat

Dr. Pat on TV!

Dr. Pat talks with Taylor Baldwin on PRIMETIME U-T TV! She discusses the 4 easy ways to prevent childhood obesity. Dr. Pat also  explains the hidden sugars in foods we THINK are healthy and why reading food labels is a key element in avoiding weight gain!

What parents buy at the grocery store is critical to nutritional health. If parents are taking good care of themselves nutritionally, there is a good chance the kids will eat healthy too.

Guess what percentage of kids grow up to be overweight adults? IT’s SHOCKING!

Watch this short clip and get all the details.

WATCH NOW!

The Best Refrigerator Paper is Here!

KFIT Health Calendar Example Here:  Activity Calendar Sheet1

Have you ever heard of exercise deficit disorder? It’s a big reason kids are spending over 7 hours a day of media time, developing adult diseases such as diabetes and hypertension, and 1 out of 3 kids is overweight or obese. Wouldn’t you consider exercise deficit disorder a condition worth taking as seriously as any other?

The term Exercise Deficit Disorder (EDD) is used to describe a condition characterized by reduced levels of regular activity (<60 minutes a day) that are not adequate for long-term health and wellness.  This concept of EDD cannot be measured in the lab or even diagnosed by any concrete measures other than pure observation and “play history” of a child’s activities. What can be measured are the effects that EDD will have on a child’s health such as high blood pressure, elevated BMI, diabetes, etc.

It’s time to become more aware of a child’s regular activity routine. Not only is physical activity a critical part of a child’s heath and wellness but it also acts as a preventative treatment for future illness and disease that are the result of inactivity.

Time to take ACTION and prevent this condition. We need to make kids aware of their activity and encourage them to stick with it! Healthy practices learned at a young age will then become lifelong habits!

MAKE AN ACTIVITY CALENDAR!

The activity calendar can be big or small and put up on the refrigerator so that kids can track their activities throughout the week and month. It holds them accountable and when they complete their goals its’ a wonderful sense of accomplishment. Positive reinforcement such as goals and rewards is also a great way to keep kids motivated to track their activity.

HOW TO:

  1. Simply use a blank sheet of paper and create a calendar for the month with big enough daily blocks to write in.
  2. In each daily block have two rows: 1. For activity and 2. The total minutes of time spent during that activity.
  3. Each day, record what activity was done either at school, afterschool, at home, or with a friend. Be sure to write down the activity and the amount of time spent doing that activity.
  4. Tally up the TOTAL minutes at the end of each week and set a goal for 420 minutes/week!
  5. At the top of the calendar you could list a few small prizes for reaching the weekly goal of 420 minutes. You could also list a few bigger prizes for reaching the goal for 1 entire month.
  6. Small prizes could include: special dinner, movie rental, friend sleepover, allowance bonus, etc. Bigger prizes could include: trip to the movie theatre, new shoes, favorite dessert, going out for dinner, etc.

Now we are making activity a necessity in our daily lives, adding a visual reminder of it’s importance, and rewarding active behavior with fun prizes that allow you to spend more time together and have goals together.

Start today and soon enough daily activity will become a lifestyle and no longer a disorder.